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Talladega always has its fair share of drama, but this past weekend’s race was arguably one of the craziest races in NASCAR postseason history.
It had some pretty spectacular crashes, and the Big Ones wiped out many championship contenders.
It all started on Sunday, as Ryan Blaney‘s pit road spin nearly cost the race.
The fact that Blaney actually managed to come back and win tells a bit about the race itself.
Then came the rain, which delayed the race’s conclusion to Monday.
While Sunday was relatively drama-free aside from Blainey’s minor issue, Monday had plenty in store.
It all began when Alex Bowman tried to move across the nose of Joey Logano‘s car and got turned around.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver went to the infield and came back to the track right in the middle of the pack.
Aside from Bowman himself, the crash also knocked out Kyle Larson, who was already safely into the Round of 8,
It also damaged Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott‘s cars.
After that, William Byron got turned around by Kurt Busch and spun into Logano’s car.
Byron retired on the spot, while Logano survived to finish down in 11th.
But ‘Dega wasn’t done just yet.
Brendan Gaughan’s impressive flip over the field came next, in the closing stages.
The most impressive crash of the race took out Brad Keselowski while doing some damage to Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch‘s cars.
After such a chaotic race, what is the current championship picture?
What: Hollywood Casino 400
Where: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, KS
When: Sunday, October 20th at 2:30 PM EST
How: NBC (TV) | Motor Racing Network (Web radio) | NBC Sports App
Ryan Blaney’s win was a massive upset and significantly shook the order.
The Team Penske driver entered the race 12th and last in points among the remaining contenders.
Without a win, Blaney would likely be out of the fight heading into Kansas.
But despite the unexpected result, he still remains a dark horse at best for the title fight.
Joey Logano had a wild ride at ‘Dega.
Read also: “Five Picks to Consider for Hollywood Casino 400“.
After enduring a terrible weekend at Dover, the reigning champion bounced back by finishing second in stages 1 and 2.
Logano looked set to fight for the win, but the late crash relegated him to 11th.
Despite the bad result, he still scored the second most points among all drivers.
This leaves the Team Penske driver 18 points above the cutoff, which is a safe margin.
Logano remains a bit of a question mark, as he hasn’t looked that strong in the playoffs.
But his run at Talladega shows that the speed is still there, and he could very well make it to Homestead.
While Penske had a very good day, it went the opposite way for Hendrick Motorsports.
All four cars got involved in crashes, and that naturally includes its three playoff drivers.
Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, and William Byron now sit 18, 22 and 27 points behind the cutoff, respectively.
All three arrive at Kansas in must-win scenarios, and at least two of them are likely out.
Elliott still has a chance at advancing, given that he is the defending race winner at Kansas.
But to be on the safe side, the Hendrick trio looks to be out of the championship picture.
The odds for the Monster Energy Cup Championship are provided by bet365 NJ.
|Martin Truex Jr||+400|
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